A child gets Measles vaccine. PHOTO/COURTESY

By Salim Mutuma

A Sh800 million nationwide Measles Rubella Vaccination campaign for children aged between 9-59 months has been launched targeting 22 counties at high risk following an outbreak in West Pokot County.

More than 700 cases and two deaths have reported since October 2019 across the country.

Past outbreaks in the last one year, according to health officials, were reported in Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, West Pokot and Tana River, among other counties.

The campaign, that will run from June 25 to July 5, 2021, was launched on Friday by Health Chief Adminstrative Secretary Dr Mercy Mwangangi and targets about 3.5 million children.

The identified high risk counties are Bungoma, Narok, Bomet, Nairobi, Kakamega, Vihiga, Kisii, Busia, Homabay, Migori, Tana River and Kajiado.

Others are Mandera, Baringo, Turkana, Wajir, Kilifi, Garissa, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Trans Nzoia.

The vaccines will be offered for free across the health facilities in the 22 counties and in public places such as worship centres, social places, schools and markets.

At least 16, 000 health workers will be tasked for the work across the more than 5000 vaccination posts.

Kenyans in the counties have been asked to ensure their children receive the jab during the period.

Dr Mwangangi said the country remained in persistent threat of Measles outbreak.

The government hopes to achieve at least 95 percent coverage.

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